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us, but neither sooner nor later. “You can calculate for yourself,” I

“Why, yes,” returned the captain, scratching his head; “and
making a large allowance, sir, for all the gifts of Providence, I
should say we were pretty close hauled.”

“How do you mean?” I asked.
“It’s a pity, sir, we lost that second load. That’s what I mean,”
replied the captain. “As for powder and shot, we’ll do. But the
rations are short, very short-- so short, Dr. Livesey, that we’re
perhaps as well without that extra mouth.”

And he pointed to the dead body under the flag.
Just then, with a roar and a whistle, a round-shot passed high
above the roof of the log-house and plumped far beyond us in the

“Oho!” said the captain. “Blaze away! You’ve little enough
powder already, my lads.”

At the second trial, the aim was better, and the ball descended
inside the stockade, scattering a cloud of sand but doing no further

“Captain,” said the squire, “the house is quite invisible from the
ship. It must be the flag they are aiming at. Would it not be wiser
to take it in?”

“Strike my colours!” cried the captain. “No, sir, not I”; and as
soon as he had said the words, I think we all agreed with him. For
it was not only a piece of stout, seamanly, good feeling; it was good
policy besides and showed our enemies that we despised their

All through the evening they kept thundering away. Ball after
ball flew over or fell short or kicked up the sand in the enclosure,

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